Hanifin signs ELC at end of Carolina Hurricanes prospect camp

RALEIGH, N.C. – The Carolina Hurricanes signed their top draft pick, defenseman Noah Hanifin, in front of fans in attendance at the team’s Summerfest activities held at PNC Arena on Saturday.

It was the standout moment that became part of a ‘State of the Hurricanes’ segment hosted by Hurricanes radio play-by-play announcer Chuck Kaiton as he talked with executive vice president and general manager Ron Francis and head coach Bill Peters.

“It got a lot of attention,” Hanifin said of the impromptu event put together by the team.

“It was definitely really cool to be able to sign in front of all the fans.”

According to Hanifin, he wasn’t aware that he would sign his contract that day, nor in front of so many people.

The lone stool-height table standing to the left of Francis might have given it away to some keen observers.

“I really didn’t have it planned that I would sign today,” Hanifin continued.

“My agent and my parents were talkin’ with the organization a lot over the past few days. I talked to Mr. Francis this morning and talked to my agent and my parents. I’m ready to make the step, so I’m really excited to get this done and focus on the future.”

The Boston College defenseman signed a three-year, entry-level contract that will pay him $832,500 on the NHL level or $70,000 on the American Hockey League (AHL) level through the 2017-18 season.

Hanifin received a signing bonus of $277,500, and in signing now foregoes any further eligibility at Boston College by turning pro.

“I felt that I wanted to challenge myself again, like I did going to BC last year,” Hanifin said.

“Obviously, this is the highest level of hockey. I have a big adjustment period. I have to learn a lot from the older guys and take in as much as I can from the coaching staff. Whatever team I’m playing for, I’m ready to challenge myself again.”

“Noah has had a great week here during our prospect development camp,” Francis stated.

“He is big, he can skate and he can move the puck. Noah fits the mold for the type of player and person we want in a Hurricanes uniform.”

The 18-year old from Boston, Mass. became the youngest player to ever skate with Boston College and completed his freshman season with the Eagles scoring five goals and earning 18 assists (23 points) in 37 games played.

He finished the 2014-15 season ranked third in scoring among all National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) freshmen defensemen, and was named a Hockey East Second Team All-Star.

Hanifin also was a unanimous selection to the Hockey East Pro Ambitions All-Rookie Team, and represented Boston College as a Division I New England All-Star.

“I loved it there last year,” Hanifin said.

“They treated me well, but at the same time I feel this is the right step.”

As a college product, he is not bound by the AHL age restriction and could play for the Checkers, should the Hurricanes assign him there.

“There a lot of good defensemen here,” Hanifin concluded.

“Nothing is guaranteed. I’m gonna put in a lot of work this summer up until camp, and I’m hopin’ I’m gonna make it.”